Derek Stokes: Handcuffed in Patrol Car, Gets in Gun Fight with Officers

Handcuffed Man, Derek Stokes, In Patrol Car Gets in Gun Fight with Officers

Cleveland prosecutors have released the in-car video that shows the attempted murder of an officer by suspect Derek Stokes. Stokes pulled a handgun from the back seat of a park ranger’s patrol vehicle and began firing shots at officer; the incident occurred last December.

Prosecutors from Cuyahoga County released excerpts of video recordings from two patrol vehicles Tuesday after it was announced that the fatal shooting of Derek Stokes by two Cleveland Metroparks rangers was wholly justified. Stokes was killed in parking garage beneath Cleveland police headquarters, where the rangers planned to book him.

The incident began when Ranger McLellan conducted a vehicle stop for speeding; the vehicle was driven by Stokes.  While verifying Stokes’ information, Ranger McLellan found out that Stokes had an outstanding felony warrant; a search of Stokes’ vehicle revealed heroin, crack cocaine and other drug paraphernalia.

Stokes was initially patted down and placed in the back of McLellan’s patrol. It is at that point that investigators think Stokes removed a hidden pistol from one of his boots and placed it beneath the back seat of the patrol vehicle. Stokes’ boots were removed and checked during a secondary body search, but by this point it was too late – Stokes had stashed the weapon and was planning his attack on Ranger McLellan.

In the video, when Ranger McLellan arrives at the police parking garage, you can see Stokes – who had secretly moved his hands in front of his body – force a handgun through a small gap in the plastic prisoner barrier.  McLellan sees the firearm and quickly stops her patrol vehicle, slamming Stokes in the barrier.  McLellan can be seen on Ranger Schultz’s dashboard camera exiting her patrol vehicle and the vehicle rolling away from her at a slow speed.  At that point Stokes attempted to kill McLellan, pulling the trigger several times, although the weapon misfired.  If you listen to the audio of the tape you can hear Stokes pull the slide back on the weapon, putting a new round in the chamber; investigators say the weapon misfired several times before Stokes finally got a shot off, striking McLellan in the shoulder-area of her vest.

The video clearly shows that Derek Stokes followed Ranger McLellan with his weapon, even after she bailed out of her vehicle and before she started returning fire.  Stokes was clearly intent on murdering Ranger McLellan at that point.

Rangers McLellan and Schultz then began firing into McClellan’s patrol vehicle. The footage from McLellan’s car shows Stokes laying down in the seat, covering his head as glass and bullets fly around him.

As McLellan’s car rolls to a stop, Stokes can be heard yelling, “Kill me!  Kill me, motherfuckers!” while he scrambled out of the back of the car, pointing his weapon at the rangers.  The officers quickly returned fire, and Stokes fell to the garage floor, then got to his feet and tried to flee.  Stokes eventually fell back to the ground.

Stokes began stirring again after he fell to the ground, and yelled, “I ain’t done yet,” as he began to stand back up. McLellan clearly states, “Get on the ground,” still giving Stokes a chance to give up despite his attempts to kill her, but Stokes refuses to comply.  More shots are fired by the officers, at which point Stokes fell to the ground and remained there.

The Derek Stokes shooting was ruled to be justified, but I doubt that the Black Lives Matter crowd will be pleased with this ruling, I can’t think of a more clear-cut case of self-defense:  The officer left the vehicle and the suspect continued to train his gun on her, firing with intent to kill the law enforcement officer; he also refused to obey commands that would have saved his life up. The officers had no choice but to neutralize the threat.  Though our detractors may fail to see the lesson in this story – trying to kill police is likely to result in your own death – let us not let our own lesson pass us by:

1.) Frisk/search your prisoners and your car well and often

2.) Don’t put people in your car without searching them first, even if you intend to search them later.

3.) If/when the time comes for deadly force, don’t hesitate; our attackers surely will not, even when we give them a way out.

Stay safe out there, folks.

  • MolonLabe#tryme

    And your wish is granted….

  • Rachel

    Way in hell was his hands cuffed in front of him arizona they don’t allow hands to be cuffed in front at least that’s what they always told me

  • That was nice!!

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  • Why would BLM not be happy for this Officer and her terrific job? So glad she is OK.

    Blue Lives Matter, but who doesnt know that. Are police a oppressed minority that is subject to systematic racism and victims of a unfair criminal justice system? I’m just trying to see why we need a movement for police.

    • Tacticalterry

      Maybe because cops shoot armed suspects during a fight in a parking lot next to a car and everyone says racist cops murder guy for selling CD’s

      • I well those things did happen but no one is saying that happens every time

        • Tacticalterry

          Every time a cop is wrong I’ll be the first to say. For example, the cop that shot the guy running away. They say he had his taser… I don’t care the 6th 7th and 8th shot can’t be justified in my mind and he will probably be found guilty. But how many times are BLM the media or people in general saying the cop is guilty based on a snip it of a video.
          U believe what u want but most of these martyrs are punks that got shot because they were doing something wrong and got shot for good reason. Michael brown is a prime example.

          • So resisting or runnin is a good reason to shot a unarmed suspect. i was going to debate with u, but nah, im ok.

  • tremayfreon cauldwell

    Stop the Rap. Double-tap.

    • Tacticalterry


  • JoseGrunt

    Another saint for Black Lives Matter to canonize!

  • Pat Valcarcel

    He got what he deserved and the officers were more then justified and did give him a chance to give up that I would not have given him as a citizen.

  • Tacticalterry

    Anyone remember when a guy shot himself in the back of a car and the BLM said it wasn’t possible. Smh

  • Red Doe

    ummm is no one going to talk about how obviously fake this video is?….startung with how did he get out of a locked backseat in a police car. how his handcuffs magicly disappear when they show him reaching in the front seat. how the kill me voice does not match the original voice or of the timing in the scene it’s added , or how it’s a completely different person who runs out the car, and the fact that he doesn’t even have on shoes let alone boots. This video is either entirely made up or definitely engineered to make another murder looks justified but I’m betting on it’s just fake all together and people are getting sucked in by this twisted joke